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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Fashion Blogging 101 #SMWGlasgow

On Monday I held an event with fellow Scottish bloggers Michelle of Kingdom of Style and Sarah of We Shop Therefore We Are as part of Social Media Week. Speaking of our experiences with digital media, we presented to a super-stylish crowd at uber-hip hotel CitizenM. There was only one hitch: Social Media Week is smack bang in the middle of London Fashion Week. After a lot of juggling, transport and planning, I luckily made it along in person...having my face projected 10 fold on a screen would have been a little too scary for the attendees.

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There were many questions regarding successful blogging. Below are some of my top tips:

Simplicity

When it comes to the design, I think simpler is better. This isn't MySpace so there's no need for hundreds of GIFs or a star spangled cursor. If your content is strong and central to the site, that's all that matters.

There are so many blogs out there that to make any impact you need to be niche. Focusing on what you really love will make it easier as creating content will be second nature.

Post as often as possible – I prefer earlier as people will begin to start their day by reading your posts

People will only return to your blog if you post frequently. If someone logs on twice in 2 weeks and there has been nothing new, why would they return? I recommend a minimum of once a week, but that's only if that post is particularly strong.

Try to keep a high standard when blogging. For me, pixelated photos and incorrect grammar are huge turn offs. If I see it more than twice, I tend to not come back.

Practice

It's unlikely that now you write everyday about your style or photograph yourself for that matter, but remember that practice makes perfect. When I started taking street style photographs, I just did it at the weekends as I went about my usual life meeting friends and going clubbing. As my passion grew and I got practice, I understood how it fit into my life better.

It's easy to get writers block, especially at the beginning of starting your blog. I keep an inspiration folder on my computer and save any photos, websites or ideas I have which can be used as great fodder for blogs.

Concise

Love it or hate it the internet has been designed to be read in bite-sized chunks. Unless you make it your 'focus' (see 'focus'), then I'd recommend keeping text to-the-point and in small paragraphs. Readers will get overwhelmed if they post appears to have no end and people prefer reading honest simple editorial.

Stylised

You don't have to be a technical genius to create a blog which is aesthetically pleasing. I recommend the following for beautiful blogging:

Keep all fonts and text sizes consistent throughout

Keep colour to minimum: perhaps 2 or 3 is enough between the background, header & text

Post all pictures in the same format. Use a photo resizer to make them all the same width and centre or left justify each one.

Keep the background simple: I tend to find images confuse the design and makes it more difficult to read posts.

Use a strong image as the header – its the readers first impression of the blog, and first impressions count.

Etiquette

Blogger etiquette is a big thing. If you don't already know about it, read this Independent Bloggers post. Main thing to remember is not to steal other peoples content. If you like someones idea or photo, use it but always credit the author. You never know, they may like your blog too and link back to you.

Don't say anything you wouldn't say in person. The manners we use in everyday life should be retained for the internet.

Be honest about collaborations & gifts. Other than it just being an FTC rule to lie about gifting, it's truer to your followers when

Socialise

Use social networking tools to reach new people. Sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter and of course Facebook are great ways to share your ideas.



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Image 2/3 courtesy of Thank Fifi - the sleek new style blog, worth a check.

Thanks to everyone involved particularly Colin, Michelle, Sarah, Hilary, the team at CitizenM, Xante vodka and Yo! Sushi for the delectably fresh fodder. Also to everyone who tweeted, I salute you - WE TRENDED!